130th Ohio General Assembly
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Sub. S. B. No. 254  As Reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee
As Reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee

129th General Assembly
Regular Session
2011-2012
Sub. S. B. No. 254


Senator Patton 



A BILL
To amend sections 1905.01, 4511.204, and 4511.205 of the Revised Code to increase from more than 100 to more than 200 the population necessary for a municipal corporation to have a mayor's court unless the municipal corporation is located entirely on an island in Lake Erie and to provide that a conviction or guilty plea of the offense of driving a vehicle while writing, sending, or reading a text-based communication on a handheld electronic wireless communications device and a conviction or guilty plea of a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance for the same conduct are allied offenses of similar import and that an adjudication for the offense of a person who is less than 18 years of age from using, in any manner, an electronic wireless communications device while driving and an adjudication of a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance for the same conduct are allied offenses of similar import.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That sections 1905.01, 4511.204, and 4511.205 of the Revised Code be amended to read as follows:
Sec. 1905.01.  (A) In Georgetown in Brown county, in Mount Gilead in Morrow county, in any municipal corporation located entirely on an island in Lake Erie, and in all other municipal corporations having a population of more than one two hundred, other than Batavia in Clermont county, not being the site of a municipal court nor a place where a judge of the Auglaize county, Crawford county, Jackson county, Miami county, Montgomery county, Portage county, or Wayne county municipal court sits as required pursuant to section 1901.021 of the Revised Code or by designation of the judges pursuant to section 1901.021 of the Revised Code, the mayor of the municipal corporation has jurisdiction, except as provided in divisions (B), (C), and (E) of this section and subject to the limitation contained in section 1905.03 and the limitation contained in section 1905.031 of the Revised Code, to hear and determine any prosecution for the violation of an ordinance of the municipal corporation, to hear and determine any case involving a violation of a vehicle parking or standing ordinance of the municipal corporation unless the violation is required to be handled by a parking violations bureau or joint parking violations bureau pursuant to Chapter 4521. of the Revised Code, and to hear and determine all criminal causes involving any moving traffic violation occurring on a state highway located within the boundaries of the municipal corporation, subject to the limitations of sections 2937.08 and 2938.04 of the Revised Code.
(B)(1) In Georgetown in Brown county, in Mount Gilead in Morrow county, in any municipal corporation located entirely on an island in Lake Erie, and in all other municipal corporations having a population of more than one two hundred, other than Batavia in Clermont county, not being the site of a municipal court nor a place where a judge of a court listed in division (A) of this section sits as required pursuant to section 1901.021 of the Revised Code or by designation of the judges pursuant to section 1901.021 of the Revised Code, the mayor of the municipal corporation has jurisdiction, subject to the limitation contained in section 1905.03 of the Revised Code, to hear and determine prosecutions involving a violation of an ordinance of the municipal corporation relating to operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them or relating to operating a vehicle with a prohibited concentration of alcohol, a controlled substance, or a metabolite of a controlled substance in the whole blood, blood serum or plasma, breath, or urine, and to hear and determine criminal causes involving a violation of section 4511.19 of the Revised Code that occur on a state highway located within the boundaries of the municipal corporation, subject to the limitations of sections 2937.08 and 2938.04 of the Revised Code, only if the person charged with the violation, within six years of the date of the violation charged, has not been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any of the following:
(a) A violation of an ordinance of any municipal corporation relating to operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them or relating to operating a vehicle with a prohibited concentration of alcohol, a controlled substance, or a metabolite of a controlled substance in the whole blood, blood serum or plasma, breath, or urine;
(b) A violation of section 4511.19 of the Revised Code;
(c) A violation of any ordinance of any municipal corporation or of any section of the Revised Code that regulates the operation of vehicles, streetcars, and trackless trolleys upon the highways or streets, to which all of the following apply:
(i) The person, in the case in which the conviction was obtained or the plea of guilty was entered, had been charged with a violation of an ordinance of a type described in division (B)(1)(a) of this section, or with a violation of section 4511.19 of the Revised Code;
(ii) The charge of the violation described in division (B)(1)(c)(i) of this section was dismissed or reduced;
(iii) The violation of which the person was convicted or to which the person pleaded guilty arose out of the same facts and circumstances and the same act as did the charge that was dismissed or reduced.
(d) A violation of a statute of the United States or of any other state or a municipal ordinance of a municipal corporation located in any other state that is substantially similar to section 4511.19 of the Revised Code.
(2) The mayor of a municipal corporation does not have jurisdiction to hear and determine any prosecution or criminal cause involving a violation described in division (B)(1)(a) or (b) of this section, regardless of where the violation occurred, if the person charged with the violation, within six years of the violation charged, has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any violation listed in division (B)(1)(a), (b), (c), or (d) of this section.
If the mayor of a municipal corporation, in hearing a prosecution involving a violation of an ordinance of the municipal corporation the mayor serves relating to operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a drug of abuse, or a combination of them or relating to operating a vehicle with a prohibited concentration of alcohol, a controlled substance, or a metabolite of a controlled substance in the whole blood, blood serum or plasma, breath, or urine, or in hearing a criminal cause involving a violation of section 4511.19 of the Revised Code, determines that the person charged, within six years of the violation charged, has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any violation listed in division (B)(1)(a), (b), (c), or (d) of this section, the mayor immediately shall transfer the case to the county court or municipal court with jurisdiction over the violation charged, in accordance with section 1905.032 of the Revised Code.
(C)(1) In Georgetown in Brown county, in Mount Gilead in Morrow county, in any municipal corporation located entirely on an island in Lake Erie, and in all other municipal corporations having a population of more than one two hundred, other than Batavia in Clermont county, not being the site of a municipal court and not being a place where a judge of a court listed in division (A) of this section sits as required pursuant to section 1901.021 of the Revised Code or by designation of the judges pursuant to section 1901.021 of the Revised Code, the mayor of the municipal corporation, subject to sections 1901.031, 2937.08, and 2938.04 of the Revised Code, has jurisdiction to hear and determine prosecutions involving a violation of a municipal ordinance that is substantially equivalent to division (A) of section 4510.14 or section 4510.16 of the Revised Code and to hear and determine criminal causes that involve a moving traffic violation, that involve a violation of division (A) of section 4510.14 or section 4510.16 of the Revised Code, and that occur on a state highway located within the boundaries of the municipal corporation only if all of the following apply regarding the violation and the person charged:
(a) Regarding a violation of section 4510.16 of the Revised Code or a violation of a municipal ordinance that is substantially equivalent to that division, the person charged with the violation, within six years of the date of the violation charged, has not been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any of the following:
(i) A violation of section 4510.16 of the Revised Code;
(ii) A violation of a municipal ordinance that is substantially equivalent to section 4510.16 of the Revised Code;
(iii) A violation of any municipal ordinance or section of the Revised Code that regulates the operation of vehicles, streetcars, and trackless trolleys upon the highways or streets, in a case in which, after a charge against the person of a violation of a type described in division (C)(1)(a)(i) or (ii) of this section was dismissed or reduced, the person is convicted of or pleads guilty to a violation that arose out of the same facts and circumstances and the same act as did the charge that was dismissed or reduced.
(b) Regarding a violation of division (A) of section 4510.14 of the Revised Code or a violation of a municipal ordinance that is substantially equivalent to that division, the person charged with the violation, within six years of the date of the violation charged, has not been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any of the following:
(i) A violation of division (A) of section 4510.14 of the Revised Code;
(ii) A violation of a municipal ordinance that is substantially equivalent to division (A) of section 4510.14 of the Revised Code;
(iii) A violation of any municipal ordinance or section of the Revised Code that regulates the operation of vehicles, streetcars, and trackless trolleys upon the highways or streets in a case in which, after a charge against the person of a violation of a type described in division (C)(1)(b)(i) or (ii) of this section was dismissed or reduced, the person is convicted of or pleads guilty to a violation that arose out of the same facts and circumstances and the same act as did the charge that was dismissed or reduced.
(2) The mayor of a municipal corporation does not have jurisdiction to hear and determine any prosecution or criminal cause involving a violation described in division (C)(1)(a)(i) or (ii) of this section if the person charged with the violation, within six years of the violation charged, has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any violation listed in division (C)(1)(a)(i), (ii), or (iii) of this section and does not have jurisdiction to hear and determine any prosecution or criminal cause involving a violation described in division (C)(1)(b)(i) or (ii) of this section if the person charged with the violation, within six years of the violation charged, has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to any violation listed in division (C)(1)(b)(i), (ii), or (iii) of this section.
(3) If the mayor of a municipal corporation, in hearing a prosecution involving a violation of an ordinance of the municipal corporation the mayor serves that is substantially equivalent to division (A) of section 4510.14 or section 4510.16 of the Revised Code or a violation of division (A) of section 4510.14 or section 4510.16 of the Revised Code, determines that, under division (C)(2) of this section, mayors do not have jurisdiction of the prosecution, the mayor immediately shall transfer the case to the county court or municipal court with jurisdiction over the violation in accordance with section 1905.032 of the Revised Code.
(D) If the mayor of a municipal corporation has jurisdiction pursuant to division (B)(1) of this section to hear and determine a prosecution or criminal cause involving a violation described in division (B)(1)(a) or (b) of this section, the authority of the mayor to hear or determine the prosecution or cause is subject to the limitation contained in division (C) of section 1905.03 of the Revised Code. If the mayor of a municipal corporation has jurisdiction pursuant to division (A) or (C) of this section to hear and determine a prosecution or criminal cause involving a violation other than a violation described in division (B)(1)(a) or (b) of this section, the authority of the mayor to hear or determine the prosecution or cause is subject to the limitation contained in division (C) of section 1905.031 of the Revised Code.
(E)(1) The mayor of a municipal corporation does not have jurisdiction to hear and determine any prosecution or criminal cause involving any of the following:
(a) A violation of section 2919.25 or 2919.27 of the Revised Code;
(b) A violation of section 2903.11, 2903.12, 2903.13, 2903.211, or 2911.211 of the Revised Code that involves a person who was a family or household member of the defendant at the time of the violation;
(c) A violation of a municipal ordinance that is substantially equivalent to an offense described in division (E)(1)(a) or (b) of this section and that involves a person who was a family or household member of the defendant at the time of the violation.
(2) The mayor of a municipal corporation does not have jurisdiction to hear and determine a motion filed pursuant to section 2919.26 of the Revised Code or filed pursuant to a municipal ordinance that is substantially equivalent to that section or to issue a protection order pursuant to that section or a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance.
(3) As used in this section, "family or household member" has the same meaning as in section 2919.25 of the Revised Code.
(F) In keeping a docket and files, the mayor, and a mayor's court magistrate appointed under section 1905.05 of the Revised Code, shall be governed by the laws pertaining to county courts.
Sec. 4511.204.  (A) No person shall drive a motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar on any street, highway, or property open to the public for vehicular traffic while using a handheld electronic wireless communications device to write, send, or read a text-based communication.
(B) Division (A) of this section does not apply to any of the following:
(1) A person using a handheld electronic wireless communications device in that manner for emergency purposes, including an emergency contact with a law enforcement agency, hospital or health care provider, fire department, or other similar emergency agency or entity;
(2) A person driving a public safety vehicle who uses a handheld electronic wireless communications device in that manner in the course of the person's duties;
(3) A person using a handheld electronic wireless communications device in that manner whose motor vehicle is in a stationary position and who is outside a lane of travel;
(4) A person reading, selecting, or entering a name or telephone number in a handheld electronic wireless communications device for the purpose of making or receiving a telephone call;
(5) A person receiving wireless messages on a device regarding the operation or navigation of a motor vehicle; safety-related information, including emergency, traffic, or weather alerts; or data used primarily by the motor vehicle;
(6) A person receiving wireless messages via radio waves;
(7) A person using a device for navigation purposes;
(8) A person conducting wireless interpersonal communication with a device that does not require manually entering letters, numbers, or symbols or reading text messages, except to activate, deactivate, or initiate the device or a feature or function of the device;
(9) A person operating a commercial truck while using a mobile data terminal that transmits and receives data;
(10) A person using a handheld electronic wireless communications device in conjunction with a voice-operated or hands-free device feature or function of the vehicle.
(C) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no law enforcement officer shall cause an operator of an automobile being operated on any street or highway to stop the automobile for the sole purpose of determining whether a violation of division (A) of this section has been or is being committed or for the sole purpose of issuing a ticket, citation, or summons for a violation of that nature or causing the arrest of or commencing a prosecution of a person for a violation of that nature, and no law enforcement officer shall view the interior or visually inspect any automobile being operated on any street or highway for the sole purpose of determining whether a violation of that nature has been or is being committed.
(D) Whoever violates division (A) of this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor.
(E) This section shall not be construed as invalidating, preempting, or superseding a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance that prescribes penalties for violations of that ordinance that are greater than the penalties prescribed in this section for violations of this section.
(F) A prosecution for a violation of this section does not preclude a prosecution for a violation of a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance based on the same conduct. However, if an offender is convicted of or pleads guilty to a violation of this section and is also convicted of or pleads guilty to a violation of a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance based on the same conduct, the two offenses are allied offenses of similar import under section 2941.25 of the Revised Code.
(G) As used in this section:
(1) "Electronic wireless communications device" includes any of the following:
(a) A wireless telephone;
(b) A text-messaging device;
(c) A personal digital assistant;
(d) A computer, including a laptop computer and a computer tablet;
(e) Any other substantially similar wireless device that is designed or used to communicate text.
(2) "Voice-operated or hands-free device" means a device that allows the user to vocally compose or send, or to listen to a text-based communication without the use of either hand except to activate or deactivate a feature or function.
(3) "Write, send, or read a text-based communication" means to manually write or send, or read a text-based communication using an electronic wireless communications device, including manually writing or sending, or reading communications referred to as text messages, instant messages, or electronic mail.
Sec. 4511.205.  (A) No holder of a temporary instruction permit who has not attained the age of eighteen years and no holder of a probationary driver's license shall drive a motor vehicle on any street, highway, or property used by the public for purposes of vehicular traffic or parking while using in any manner an electronic wireless communications device.
(B) Division (A) of this section does not apply to either of the following:
(1) A person using an electronic wireless communications device for emergency purposes, including an emergency contact with a law enforcement agency, hospital or health care provider, fire department, or other similar emergency agency or entity;
(2) A person using an electronic wireless communications device whose motor vehicle is in a stationary position and the motor vehicle is outside a lane of travel;
(3) A person using a navigation device in a voice-operated or hands-free manner who does not manipulate the device while driving.
(C)(1) Except as provided in division (C)(2) of this section, whoever violates division (A) of this section shall be fined one hundred fifty dollars. In addition, the court shall impose a class seven suspension of the offender's driver's license or permit for a definite period of sixty days.
(2) If the offender person previously has been convicted of adjudicated a delinquent child or a juvenile traffic offender for a violation of this section, whoever violates this section shall be fined three hundred dollars. In addition, the court shall impose a class seven suspension of the offender's person's driver's license or permit for a definite period of one year.
(D) The filing of a sworn complaint against a person for a violation of this section does not preclude the filing of a sworn complaint for a violation of a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance for the same conduct. However, if a person is adjudicated a delinquent child or a juvenile traffic offender for a violation of this section and is also adjudicated a delinquent child or a juvenile traffic offender for a violation of a substantially equivalent municipal ordinance for the same conduct, the two offenses are allied offenses of similar import under section 2941.25 of the Revised Code.
(E) As used in this section, "electronic wireless communications device" includes any of the following:
(1) A wireless telephone;
(2) A personal digital assistant;
(3) A computer, including a laptop computer and a computer tablet;
(4) A text-messaging device;
(5) Any other substantially similar electronic wireless device that is designed or used to communicate via voice, image, or written word.
Section 2. That existing sections 1905.01, 4511.204, and 4511.205 of the Revised Code are hereby repealed.
Section 3. (A) Upon the effective date of this act, within each municipal corporation with a population of two hundred or less, except for any municipal corporation located entirely on an island in Lake Erie, the jurisdiction of the mayor in all civil and criminal causes that otherwise was granted under section 1905.01 of the Revised Code prior to the effective date of this act terminates. Upon the effective date of this act, all prosecutions, cases, criminal causes, and other proceedings then pending in a mayor's court of a municipal corporation that has a population of two hundred or less and is not located entirely on an island in Lake Erie shall be transferred to and proceed in the municipal court, county court, or court of common pleas with jurisdiction over the alleged violation that is the basis of the prosecution, case, cause, or proceeding, as if the prosecution, case, cause, or proceeding originally had been instituted in the municipal court, county court, or court of common pleas.
(B) Upon the transfer of a prosecution, case, criminal cause, or other proceeding to a municipal court, county court, or court of common pleas under division (A) of this section, the mayor of the municipal corporation before whom the prosecution, case, cause, or proceeding was pending upon the effective date of this act shall transfer to the municipal court, county court, or court of common pleas the pleadings, orders, entries, dockets, bonds, papers, records, books, exhibits, files, moneys, property, and persons that belong to, are in the possession of, or were subject to the jurisdiction of the mayor and that pertain to the transferred prosecution, case, cause, or proceeding.
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